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ABSTRACT

The Udo tuff cone of Cheju Island, South Korea, is a middle Pleistocene basalt tuff cone that has formed by early Surtseyan-type eruptions and later drier hydroclastic eruptions. The tuff cone comprises steep (20–30°) and planar beds of lapillistone, lapilli tuff and tuff that can be grouped into seven sedimentary facies (A-G). Facies A and B comprise continuous to lenticular layers of grain-supported and openwork lapillistone that are inversely graded and coarsen downslope. They suggest emplacement by grain flows that are maintained by gravity-induced stress and grain collisions. Facies C includes poorly sorted, crudely bedded and locally inversely graded lapilli tuff, also suggestive of rapid deposition from highly concentrated grain flows. Facies D includes thinly stratified and mantle-bedded tuff that was probably deposited by fallout of wind-borne ash. Other facies include massive lapilli tuff (Facies E), chaotic lapilli tuff (Facies F) and cross-bedded tuffaceous sandstone (Facies G) that were deposited by resedimentation processes such as debris flow, slide/slump and stream flow, respectively.

The grain flows that produced Facies A, B and C are interpreted to have originated from falling pyroclasts, which initially generated highly dispersed, saltating avalanches, in which momentum was transferred by the particles themselves. This transport mechanism is similar to that of debris fall. As the slope gradient was too low to maintain a highly dispersed flow, the debris fall decelerated and contracted due to a decrease in dispersive pressure. The mode of momentum transfer changed to one of collision because contraction of the debris fall resulted in an increase in particle concentration. This transport mechanism is similar to that of common grain flows. Grain segregation occurred in several ways. Initial segregation of ash from lapilli occurred due to their differing terminal fall velocities, and their contrasting degrees of sliding friction with the bed. Percolation of ash into interstices of lapilli during flow (kinematic sieving) augmented further segregation of ash from lapilli. The latter process, along with a dispersive pressure effect, gave rise to vertical inverse size grading. Downdip inverse grading was produced by particle overpassing.